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I have a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab long bed with about 36,000 miles. Recently I have noticed a vibration during acceleration. From what I can tell it feels like the rear end is "hopping" I also have a squeak coming from the rear differential (I believe where the driveshaft comes into the diff) It is not constant and changes as it rotates (Like it squeals during half the rotation and not the other half) it also appears to go away at higher speeds.
To top everything off I looked under there tonight and it appears the seal on the front side of the differential is starting to leak as I have fluid spray on my gas tank and exhaust piping. I checked and I still have fluid in the diff and it appears to just have started leaking.
Does anyone have any ideas what the first problems could be and/or have trouble shooting ideas? I have put the truck on jack stands and the noise is still there and is defiantly coming from the diff area. I assume the only fix for the leak is a new seal. How hard is this to replace? Do I have to drop the entire rear end or can this be replaced on the vehicle?
Thank you everyone in advance
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The hopping is most noticeable at slow speeds mostly during acceleration. I really haven't noticed it at highway speeds but I'll monitor it closely today since I have to drive 100 miles on the freeway.
Thanks for the link on the pinion seal. Thats what I figured it was although I couldn't recall the name.
I forgot to mention when starting from a stock there is an occasional clunk as you first start moving. I believe it's the second the wheel start to turn i have noticed this during acceleration from a deceleration also
I have the factory 17" alloys on it right now I'll swap out for my 20" Hemi wheels and see if the vibration goes away or not. I figure it would be a slim chance that if it were a tire out of balance that two sets would have the same problem
just got back from my trip and it's the worst about 50-55 above 55 it feels like it's gone and below 30 it feels like it's going. I don't know if "hopping" is the correct way to describe it but it's a really bad vibration I can feel in the floor of the truck up into the steering wheel but it still feels like it's coming from the rear end.
UJoint? Your ujoint could be bad. Get under the truck and make sure the parking brake is on and you want the tranny in park too i beleive. Take a hold of your Driveshaft and see if it turns any.... If theres too much play where hte driveshaft meets the Rear Diff.... It could very well be your ujoint.
I tried to move the driveshaft by hand and couldn't get it to budge. I shifted from reverse to drive and have an obvious clunk. It's more prominent going into reverse rather than drive. I can't tell if it's coming from by the transmission or the differential (I believe these have 2 U joints). How hard of a task is it to replace the U joints? I have mechanical experience but mostly on FWD imports.
IF your driveshaft/ujoints arent rusted to hell its actually not to bad. I recommend replacing all of them at the same time, depending on if u have a 1pc or a 2pc driveshaft you either have 2 or 3. Btw, when you said it clunks more in reverse.... I am 99% positive its your u-joint.
If you have a benchvice.... or a c-clamp...u can usually get them out... Or access to a press. If not autozone/advance auto will rent you the tool for about 95$ and then u get your money back when you bring it back to them.
IF you google Dodge Ram U-joint replacment... when i did mine a while back there were a few articles on there... you should find some good info.
IF your driveshaft/ujoints arent rusted to hell its actually not to bad.
They don't look rusted bad to me. Obviously a little rust but nothing serious. Do you recommend not worrying about this right now? I would have to look at my driveshaft I have a feeling it's the 2 piece driveshaft because it's a long bed truck. I'm just trying to figure out how serious this is.
bump? did it turn out to be the u joints tegguy? i'm having the same problem at 40mph even after a re-balance on all four wheels and a rotation on my 04 qc 4x4. I tried checking the u joints by rotating the drive shaft but the only play comes from the output shaft out of the tailshaft and the yoke mount going into the differential, not out of the u joints. I've had my truck for over a year now and it wasn't present when i got it but it has gotten progressively more apparent, either bc i notice it or bc it's getting worse..
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Last edited by cosbourn61; 06-12-2011 at 10:24 PM..